Poverty

Mother-Child Separations Among Homeless and Housed Families Receiving Public Assistance in New York City

Mother-Child Separations Among Homeless and Housed Families Receiving Public Assistance in New York City
American Journal of Community Psychology 30:5, pp. 711-730.

Cowal, K., Shinn, M., Weitzman, B.C., Stojanovic, D. & Labay, L.
01/01/2002

We examined the incidence, characteristics, and predictors of separations of children from mothers in 543 poor families receiving public assistance, 251 of whom had experienced homelessness during the previous 5 years. Forty-four percent of the homeless mothers and 8% of housed mothers were separated from one or more children. A total of 249 children were separated from 110 homeless families and 34 children from 23 housed families. Children were placed with relatives and in foster care but were rarely returned to their mothers. Maternal drug dependence, domestic violence, and institutionalization predicted separations, but homelessness was the most important predictor, equivalent in size to 1.9 other risk factors. We infer that policies regarding child welfare and substance abuse treatment should be changed to reduce unnecessary placements. Studies of homeless children who remain with families may be biased if separated children are excluded.

Pathways to Nonprofit Excellence

Pathways to Nonprofit Excellence
Brookings Institute,

Light, P.C.
01/01/2002

Fourth in a series of reports on the changing nature of public service in government and the nonprofit sector, Pathways to Excellence focuses on a unique survey of contemporary thinking about creating effective nonprofit organizations. Based on interviews with 250 leading thinkers from the worlds of philanthropy, scholarship, and consulting, as well as 250 executive directors of some of the nation's most effective nonprofits, the book argues that there is no one best way to higher performance. Although higher performance clearly requires a commitment to excellence, it can be achieved along more than one pathway using one of several different strategies.

Pathways to Excellence shows that every nonprofit organization can improve-no matter how well or poorly it is currently performing-often by taking simple first steps up a development spiral to high performance.

 

Towards an Understanding of the Impact of Welfare Reform on Children with Disabilities and Their Families: Setting a Research and Policy Agenda

Towards an Understanding of the Impact of Welfare Reform on Children with Disabilities and Their Families: Setting a Research and Policy Agenda
Social Policy Reports of the Society for Research in Child Development,Volume 16, pp. 1-16,

Rosman, E.A., Yoshikawa, H. & Knitzer, J.
01/01/2002

Increasing attention is being paid to the question of how special populations are affected by welfare reform. One subgroup that has been largely ignored in research concerning the effects of welfare reform on children and families is that of children with disabilities and their families. In order to address this gap in both policy and research, this paper aims to develop a research agenda that will inform both the policy and research worlds by developing policy-relevant data, spurring those in welfare and policy fields to consider individuals with disabilities and their families when designing research and creating policies, and spurring those in disability-related fields to consider the effects of poverty and its attendant policies.

Welfare Reform in Cleveland: Implementation, Effects, and Experiences of Poor Families and Neighborhoods

Welfare Reform in Cleveland: Implementation, Effects, and Experiences of Poor Families and Neighborhoods
MDRC,

Brock, T., Coulton, C., London, A., Polit, D. Richburg-Hayes, L., Scott, E. & Verma, N.
01/01/2002

The 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) ushered in profound changes in welfare policy, including a five-year time limit on federally funded cash assistance (known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF), stricter work requirements, and greater flexibility for states in designing and managing programs. The law’s supporters hoped that it would spark innovation and reduce welfare use; critics feared that it would lead to cuts in benefits and widespread suffering. Whether PRWORA’s reforms succeed or fail depends largely on what happens in big cities, where poverty and welfare receipt are most concentrated. This report — one of a series from MDRC’s Project on Devolution and Urban Change — examines how welfare reform unfolded in Ohio’s largest city and county: Cleveland, in Cuyahoga County. Ohio’s TANF program features one of the country’s shortest time limits (36 months) and has a strong emphasis on moving welfare recipients into employment. This study uses field research, surveys and interviews of current and former welfare recipients, state and county welfare and employment records, and indicators of social and economic trends to assess TANF’s implementation and effects. Because of the strong economy and ample funding for services in the late 1990s, it captures welfare reform in the best of times, while also focusing on the poorest families and neighborhoods.

Child Development and Public Policy: Toward a Dynamic Systems Perspective

Child Development and Public Policy: Toward a Dynamic Systems Perspective
Child DevelopmentM, Volume 72, pp. 1887-1903,

Yoshikawa, H. & Hsueh, J..
01/01/2001

Little theoretical work exists that proposes general mechanisms for how public policies may influence child development. This article argues that dynamic systems theories may be useful in illuminating such processes, as well as highlighting gaps in current research at the intersection of public policy analysis and developmental science. A brief review of dynamic systems theories as they are currently utilized in other areas of developmental science is provided, as well as a statement of why they may help advance research in public policy and child development. Five principles of dynamic systems theories are presented and discussed using examples from research that address the question, "How do current antipoverty and welfare reform policies affect children?" Also presented are examples of hypotheses and research questions that each principle may generate for future work. The concluding section presents challenges that each principle poses for research methodology, and potential uses of the dynamic systems approach for developing and integrating policy and program initiatives.

Microenterprise Development for Better Health Outcomes

Microenterprise Development for Better Health Outcomes
Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing.

Rodriguez-Garcia, R., Macinko, J. & Waters, W.
01/01/2001

Showing that economic development and public health, often thought of as distinct, are both interdependent and dependent on social and political conditions, this book provides a new appreciation of the close relationship between microenterprise development and health in developing countries. Many of the world's poor earn a living from microenterprises, often outside the formal economy, and international practitioners have recently turned their attention to this underground economy, providing support through group poverty lending and village banking models, but overlooking the potential benefits of linking income generation with public health. This book argues for a conceptual and practical relationship between microenterprise development and household health, nutrition, and sanitation. To support their framework, the authors look at specific actions for harnessing the power of microeconomic development to improve health and human development. They support their argument further with case studies of innovative programs carried out in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. The book challenges the reader to cross disciplinary and professional boundaries to not only understand the interrelationships between health and income generation but to use available tools to enhance those interrelationships.

Thinking About Children in Time.

Thinking About Children in Time.
The Dynamics of Child Poverty in Industrialised Countries. Edited by Bradbury, D. and S. Jenkins, J. Micklewright. Cambridge University Press.

Aber, J.L. & Ellwood, D.T.
01/01/2001

A child poverty rate of ten percent could mean that every tenth child is always poor, or that all children are in poverty for one month in every ten. Knowing where reality lies between these extremes is vital to understanding the problem facing many countries of poverty among the young. This unique study goes beyond the standard analysis of child poverty based on poverty rates at one point in time and documents how much movement into and out of poverty by children there actually is, covering a range of industrialised countries - the USA, UK, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Hungary and Russia. Five main topics are addressed: conceptual and measurement issues associated with a dynamic view of child poverty; cross-national comparisons of child poverty rates and trends; cross-national comparisons of children's movements into and out of poverty; country-specific studies of child poverty dynamics; and the policy implications of taking a dynamic perspective.

Urban Health: Is the City Infected?

Urban Health: Is the City Infected?
Medicine and Humanity. London: King's Fund,

Rodwin, V.G.
01/01/2001

The city is, at once, a center for disease and poor health and also a place for hope, cures and good health. From the earliest times, the city has attracted the poor and been the target of the plague, as well as war. Likewise, the health care industry has always been part of the economic base of cities - from Lourdes, in France, to Rochester, Minnesota, to megacities around the world. With its highly disproportionate share of health resources, e.g., hospitals, physicians, nurses and social services, the big city is a center of excellence in medicine. Yet, as Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet once noted, "For all of its rational efficiency and benevolent intent, the city is likely to be the death of us." Are cities socially infected breeding grounds for disease? Or do they represent critical spatial entities for promotion of population health? I propose to begin with a global view of urban health and disease and the challenge this poses for public health today. Next, I examine some evidence for the hypothesis that population health in cities is relatively poor. Finally, I suggest that the more pertinent question is not whether the city is unhealthy or healthy but rather the extent to which we can alleviate the problems posed by inequalities of income and wealth - in the city as well as outside of it.

Wealth and Poverty in America: A Reader

Wealth and Poverty in America: A Reader
(Edited, with an Introduction) Oxford: Blackwell,

Conley, D.
01/01/2001

What does it mean to be poor in America at the dawn of the 21 st century? For that matter, what does it mean to be rich? And how are the two related to each other? These apparently simple questions present enormous theoretical and empirical challenges to any student or social scientist. Wealth and Poverty in America is a collection of over 20 important essays on the complex relationship between the rich and poor in the United States. The authors include classical and contemporary thinkers on a wide variety of topics such as economic systems, the lifestyles of the rich and poor, and public policy. An editorial introduction and suggestions for further reading make this a useful and valuable source of information and analysis on the realities of the American rich and American poor.

Why Assets? Toward a New Framework on Social Stratification

Why Assets? Toward a New Framework on Social Stratification
Ford Foundation Volume, The Mechanisms and Benefits of Spreading Asset Ownership among the Poor. Russell Sage Foundation,

Conley, D.
01/01/2001

Over the past three decades, average household wealth in the United States has declined among all but the richest families, with a near 80 percent drop among the nation's poorest families. Although the national debate about inequality has focused on income, it is wealth - the private assets amassed and passed on within families -- that provides the extra economic cushion needed to move beyond mere day-to-day survival. Assets for the Poor is a full-scale investigation into the importance of family wealth and the need for policies to encourage asset-building among the poor.

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